I’m sorry that when you saw the title of my last blog post, you expected something different.
I’m sorry that you were offended that I used Baby Daddy as a term of endearment for my husband of 11 years, instead of the way Urban Dictionary uses it:
A man who knocks someone up and then walks away.
I’m sorry that pop culture has a cute, special name for men who walk away from their families.
I’m so sorry that men walk away from their families.
I’m sorry that you thought by the title of my post that I might be a spokesperson for you. A spokesperson for the single mother who has to celebrate her child’s birthday alone, making up an explanation as to why his father didn’t call.
I’m sorry that his father doesn’t call.
If my mother weren’t dyslexic, I’m sure she could be your spokesperson. She could probably write you a truthful, heartbreaking post about what it’s like to celebrate your child’s birthday, year after year, without so much as a card or a call from that child’s father. I watched her do it. I saw her cry. I know it was hard on her to raise a child with a missing parent. A missing parent who, at one point, she thought was going to be a good one.
I am NOT sorry that I titled my blog post the way I did. I am NOT sorry I jokingly refer to my husband as my Baby Daddy from time to time. To us, it’s funny. It’s sweet. It’s truthful. It is absolutely a term of endearment.
For that, I will not apologize.
He is, in fact, the daddy to my baby, and I, the mama to his.
As much as you wish people would stop using it as a term of endearment, I wish twice as hard that it didn’t exist at all. But, if it’s going to be used, then I choose to use it the way I do, not the way you do.
Words are powerful.
You choose to use the phrase for evil. I choose to use it for good.
I will not apologize for that, either.
In our 8 years as parents, we have faced two forks in the road. One of those times, my husband even lived in an apartment down the street for a summer. There have been times where he could have easily walked away from us.
From me, from his children.
He knew it was possible, he had seen it done, himself.
And yet, he didn’t. We didn’t. We worked things out. We fought tooth and nail to fix our marriage. We fought hard and long. We screamed and cried and yelled and made a decision to stay married, no matter what. To be happy. To raise our children together. To stay in love, even when it was tough, and show our children what marriage actually means.
He could have easily been the sort of Baby Daddy Urban Dictionary describes and yet, he wasn’t. He isn’t. He never will be.
I take words very seriously. They are my passion. They are my talent. They are my heart and soul and livelihood. If you ever hear me using some sort of ghetto term, please understand that I do it on purpose. I will be the first in line to correct someone’s grammar and also the first in line to use horrible slang words on purpose like, ‘Imma cut him,’ or ‘You got to be out yo damn mind.’
Most of my girlfriends from junior high had at least one child out of wedlock before we graduated high school, if they graduated at all. I know, very well, what you mean by Baby Daddy. In the world I grew up in, parental responsibility was not a thing. Literacy was not a thing, either. The use of proper language was not something that was very important. I am from a town saturated in ignorant, illiterate people. In fact, my hometown recently made #1 on the list of most illiterate places in the United States of America. If there was a list for ignorance, it would probably be on that list, too.
But, just as Nigger, Faggot, Dyke and Cracker are being used by communities across America in order to strip them of their power to hurt and segregate, I am taking back Baby Daddy. I will own it the way I see fit.
I am confident that I’ve spent enough years living in a world full of Urban Dictionary’s definition of the word to justify doing that.